Los Angeles is a hectic town. While the West-Coast vibe lends to the laid back and generally liberal approach to day to day living, the hustle, bustle, smog and constant traffic can definitely take its' toll.
Of the many things that make this massive and diverse city great, its seemingly boundless roads that lead out of the 88 incorporated counties is the plethora of must-see places to explore. Two hours inland beyond San Bernardino and you're in the mountains, skiing in the winter or boating in the summer on Lake Arrowhead or near Big Bear.
An hour and half north up the coast and you're on your way to surf country, places like Santa Barbara and Ventura that rest on the Pacific Coastline. A little further inland and you're in agriculture heaven, nestled within a strong and growing vineyard landscape, with rows and rows of grapes and a plethora of wineries. Ojai, Morro Bay and Cambria are famous for their impeccable vineries and beautiful inns, but the lesser known Paso Robles near San Luis Obispo is definitely one for the books.
Located near the Salina's River just north of SLO (what the cool kids have affectionately abbreviated San Luis Obispo to), Paso Robles is almost halfway between Los Angeles and San Fransisco. The green and rolling hills not only makes for a gorgeous drive and subsequent accommodating landscapes, but also a topography and terrain impeccable for wine-makers. With more than 25 different types of grapes being grown at over 250 wineries, there is a lot to do and drink. A day trip is doable but a weekend is definitely preferable to truly take in the sights. Home sharing rentals as well as inn's and ranches make up for most of the lodging which is probably the right way to go.
The locals are nice and friendly and their downtown is a chic and happening spot. There are many options of things to do and see so finding a guide of sorts to help organize your days is most helpful. More often then not, the tasting room guide is likely to help you plan your "next-to" destination.
Here are three wineries to help get you started: